One of the ways athletes take care of their muscles is by using a foam roller. A foam roller is basically a roll made out of foam that is meant to improve blood flow and flexibility and maximise recovery periods.
Using foam rollers can greatly help athletes and sports enthusiasts alike to improve their performance and prevent muscle-related injuries. But did you know that there is something better than the basic foam rolling action? Enter the vibrating foam roller.
This equipment is proven to be twice as effective as your usual foam rollers. The vibration in this equipment helps repair the fascia faster after a workout. In turn, you get to recover twice as fast. If you’re pressed for time like me, this is an efficient way to ease sore muscles.
There are many models of vibrating foam rollers found online. I, for one, am not aware of which to pick because they all look the same to me. Fortunately, my review on other vibrating foam rollers helped me shortlist the best models. Let’s take a look at all of them:
- 1 CubeFit Pulse Vibrating Foam Roller
- 2 Zyllion Vibrating Foam Roller
- 3 Emerge Vibrating Foam Roller
- 4 Vulken Vibrating Foam Roller
- 5 TriggerPoint Grid Vibe Plus Vibrating Foam Roller
- 6 Features to Look for When Buying a Vibrating Foam Roller
- 7 FAQs on Vibrating Foam Rollers
- 8 So, how do I choose the best one?
|Image||Product Name||Battery Life||Intensity||My Rating||Where to Buy|
|12 Hours||3 Levels||4.8/5|
|2.5 Hours||4 Levels||4.6/5|
|2-3 Hours||3 Levels||4.5/5|
|2 Hours||4 Levels||4.4/5|
|2 Hours||4 Levels||4.3/5|
Features to Look for When Buying a Vibrating Foam Roller
Vibrating foam rollers are very simple pieces of equipment. However, there are a few things you have to consider to be able to find the perfect roller for you. Here are a few factors that helped me decide on which one I had to buy.
The first thing that I looked at was features – vibration settings, softness, and the like. Since my goal was to lower the recovery time of my muscles, I had to check whether it actually vibrated or it was just able to give a low vibration that is so mild you can’t feel it. I found out that the clearer my fitness goal is, the easier it was for me to know what to consider in buying gym equipment.
Moreover, it’s important to consider the size, too. Since I’m a relatively short person, I don’t mind having a foam roller that’s just 12 inches long. However, for those who have wider legs, a 12-inch roller is too small. Make sure to know the length that suits you.
Of course, one of the things that you should look for is the vibration technology. Usually, vibration foam rollers have at least 3 types of vibration settings. Some have 4. The vibration settings vary in speed, from low to high intensity.
Personally, you don’t have to buy a foam roller that has 4 vibration settings because level 3 vibration is already in pretty high intensity. You can already expect to have effects on your deep tissue without using the most intense vibrating level. Nonetheless, it’s a matter of personal choice and need of your muscles by means of foam rolling.
While you shouldn’t use the vibrating foam roller for more than 15 minutes, it can be a hassle if you have to charge it every day because of short battery life. The average battery life for a roller is around 3 hours. If you only use it for 10 minutes each for your pre- and post-workout, then you can use your foam roller for more than a week.
In my experience, even if I drain the foam roller’s battery, it doesn’t take too long to charge it. At most, it takes an hour to fully charge the whole product, so if it takes too long, then there’s a problem with it. It is also going to improve the battery’s functionality if you keep it at room temperature.
Foam rollers have different densities. Different densities are made for different people ranging from those who exercise occasionally to do those who do hardcore sports and workouts.
If you’re a beginner to exercise, then a soft vibrating foam roller will already suffice. Soft densities are mild when you use it on your body, so you don’t have to worry about feeling more pain. On the other side of the spectrum is the deep tissue massage vibrating foam roller. This kind of density is made for those who do intense workouts. The intensity of the massages is good for lessening the muscle pain and for speeding up the recovery period.
Material & Durability
The materials used in a vibrating foam roller define the durability of the product. There are three kinds of material used in foam rollers, namely, polyethylene, EVA, and molded rollers. All of these materials have a common denominator which is plastic.
Polyethylene (PE) sounds like a type of gas because gas is its main ingredient, specifically ethylene gas. Don’t worry, ethylene gas is eco-friendly and human-friendly (which is why it is used for foam rollers). When it comes to density, I would say that PE is the densest of the three so if you have this material, be prepared to break in the product so it can become softer as the days go by.
Ethylene and Vinyl Acetate (EVA)
On the other hand, you have EVA which is also a crowd favorite. It is a mix of ethylene and vinyl acetate. EVA material has a softer density to it making it ideal for beginners or those who don’t want to have very high-intensity rolling. It feels a little bit like a rubber, so it’s a lot friendlier to your muscles. Lastly, you have molded foam rollers. Molded foam is also made out of plastic but it is less dense than PE.
Another factor to consider is comfort. Since you will be using your vibrating foam roller every day, you should pick a product that feels good to you.
You should know that the best vibrating foam rollers are not meant to be soft like yoga mats. In fact, it is better to have a denser (hence, much harder) roller because it will be more effective in massaging your muscles. However, if you are a beginner, it is better to start with medium-soft rollers just to help your body adjust to it.
FAQs on Vibrating Foam Rollers
1. Is a vibrating foam roller better than a regular one?
A vibration roller is said to be at least twice as effective as a regular roller. This is because the vibrations made by the product further increases the blood flow, hence making you more flexible.
It also increases your range of motion because the tension in your muscles is kneaded out. You can also change the intensity of the vibrations to further meet your needs.
In terms of efficiency, you definitely get more benefits in a shorter time period. This makes it highly recommended for those who can only a lot an hour or so for their daily workouts.
2. How do I use a vibrating foam roller?
To use your vibrating foam roller, turn it on to the intensity that you need. Usually, it is better to start at a lower intensity so you can slowly ease into the massage.
Start by placing yourself face down and inserting the foam roller between your mat and your thighs. Let the roller stay underneath one position for 10-15 seconds until you slowly move it to the length of your thigh.
If you find a part of it that is painful, let it stay for 20. You can do the same procedure for your calves except that you are facing up on your mat.
3. How often should I use a vibrating foam roller?
Vibration foam rollers are best used before and after your workout. If used before, it can help awaken your muscles and let the blood flowing to them.
This will help give you a fuller range of motion and flexibility that you need for your fitness routine. If used after, you can slowly massage your muscles that have some tension in them. This also speeds up your recovery time by half.
To fully maximise the benefits of a foam roller, I recommend using it every day even if you are not working out (although it’s better if you work out).
4. How long should I roll a muscle?
Because the vibrations of the foam roller are relaxing to your muscles, it’s easy to be tempted to let it stay for a full 5 minutes. However, the ideal time that it should stay over a muscle is 1-½ minutes only. You don’t want to go overboard with the massage.
Since most vibrating foam rollers turn off after 10 or 15 minutes, you can allot 1 minute each for every body part – one for each thigh, each calf, each bicep, and so on. This can help regulate the use of the roller as well.
5. Can I hurt myself with a foam roller?
There are certain limitations to using a vibration foam roller. While it is meant to give pain relief in your muscles, it’s not meant to be used in other softer muscles. For example, if you are experiencing pain in your neck, you should not use the foam roller.
So, how do I choose the best one?
Overall, there are many designs and uses for vibrating foam rollers. Just remember that if you want to lessen muscle soreness and improve your range of motion, foam rolling should be part of your fitness routine.